Florida Eye Institute Blog

Breakthrough Glaucoma Treatment has Patients Ditching Daily Eye Drops

Glaucoma is a common eye disease that often requires daily eye drops to reduce damaging eye pressure. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the chronic disease, comprises 90% of all cases. Fluid builds up in the front of the eye causing increased pressure on the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting images to the brain. This type of glaucoma is often painless but can cause severe vision loss or blindness if not treated properly. The most common therapy for open-angle glaucoma is prostaglandin eye drops. Unfortunately, up to 80% of patients don’t use eye drops as prescribed. Dr. Karen Todd, board-certified ophthalmologist, fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist admits, “One of the biggest treatment barriers for glaucoma patients is the daily management of prescription eye drops. Patients forget to use drops, don’t get drops in correctly, or can’t afford to buy drops altogether. But poor compliance can lead to blindness, which is not something we’re not willing to risk!” So, it was with great anticipation that Dr. Todd was the first physician on the Treasure Coast to perform an in-office procedure using DURYSTA,  a  new dissolvable implant, in July. The tiny implant, no larger than the letter “I” on a penny,

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Dr. Karen Todd First to Offer DURYSTA for Glaucoma Patients on Treasure Coast

Dr. Karen Todd of Florida Eye Institute is the first physician on the Treasure Coast to offer DURYSTA, a sustained release implant for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma. The new technology is a boon for patients who have difficulty using daily eyedrops required to treat the potentially blinding disease. Individuals with cognitive issues and caregivers or with underlying medical conditions like Parkinson’s are especially at risk for missed dosing. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the chronic disease, comprises 90% of cases. Fluid builds up in the front of the eye causing increased pressure which ultimately damages the optic nerve, responsible for transmitting images to the brain This type of glaucoma is often painless but can cause severe vision loss and blindness if not treated. The most common therapy for open-angle glaucoma is prostaglandin eye drops. Unfortunately, up to 80% of patients don’t use eye drops as prescribed. Dr. Todd, board-certified ophthalmologist fellowship trained in glaucoma admits, “The biggest hurdles for glaucoma compliance are patients forgetting to use daily eye drops, not getting the drops in correctly, and not being able to afford the drops. The results of poor compliance can be blindness, not something we want to risk!”

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Florida Eye Institute Surgeons Certified in New Hydrus Microstent for Glaucoma

Florida Eye Institute cataract surgeons Karen Todd, MD and Val Zudans, MD,  have successfully demonstrated the technical knowledge to implant the Hydrus Microstent according to certification by Richard Hope, MD, Vice President of Clinical and Medical Affairs at Ivantis. Hydrus is the latest FDA approved minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device used for the treatment of mild to moderate primary open-angle glaucoma in conjunction with cataract surgery. “The Hydrus Microstent has proven to be a reliable option to reduce dependence on pressure lowering drops for our glaucoma patients,” states Karen Todd, MD, Board Certified Ophthalmologist, fellowship trained in glaucoma. “We have searched a long time for the right minimally invasive, effective solution for open-angle glaucoma patients. Hydrus provides a convenient way to achieve two extremely positive outcomes with one surgery – removal of cataract and reduction of intra-ocular pressure.” Dr. Val Zudans, Board Certified Ophthalmologist, cataract and refractive surgeon adds, “We are really impressed with the clinical findings. Recent studies show nearly 78% of Hydrus patients achieved a statistically significant decrease (≥ 20 percent reduction in unmedicated IOP) at 24-months postoperative. This represents the largest improvement over a control group in any MIGS trial to date.” There are several options

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Glaucoma Awareness Month is a Great Time for Eye Exam

January is a great time to look after your health – and your eyes – during National Glaucoma Awareness Month. It’s estimated that half of those with Glaucoma do not know they have the disease – that’s over one million people in the US. Glaucoma is characterized by progressive damage to the optic nerve that can cause irreversible damage if not discovered early. “Glaucoma is a stealth disease that initially causes no symptoms. The slow loss of vision is barely perceptible,” says Karen Todd, MD, Glaucoma Fellowship Ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. “Certain factors put you at risk, such as family history and age. But, the only way to definitively discover Glaucoma is with a comprehensive eye exam,” she emphasizes. There are two major types of glaucoma, Open-Angle, and Closed Angle. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Primary Open-Angle is the most common type of glaucoma. It happens gradually, where the eye does not drain fluid as well as it should (like a clogged drain). As a result, eye pressure builds and starts to damage the optic nerve. Damage can occur even at normal pressures due to sensitivity of the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma is painless and causes no

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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Add a comprehensive eye exam to your list of healthy resolution January is Glaucoma Awareness Month sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, eye physicians dedicated to the advanced treatment of eye disease. If you are confused about Glaucoma and what it is, you are not alone. Glaucoma is one of the most damaging and insidious eye conditions because it often begins without warning. It’s estimated that nearly 3 million adults in the U.S. have Glaucoma, yet only half of those know they have it. That’s a scary thought because Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in America and can affect anyone of any age.1  Technically, Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that lead to progressive damage of the Optic Nerve. Think of the Optic Nerve as a cable, carrying vital visual signals and information to the brain. If fibers become damaged, visual signals are disrupted and the picture is lost. Damage to the optic nerve from Glaucoma can result in an irreversible loss – even blindness – if left untreated. Glaucoma begins by attacking the periphery, causing vision on the outermost corners to diminish. Early results are barely perceptible. But glaucoma can accelerate quickly; causing eyesight to

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